Learn a new Ukulele chord every day of the year. The chord for March 28th is F7b9b5.
Using the F7 from March 3rd we'll start to explore common alteration to this dominant chord. A key is to memorize what note changed - not an entirely new chord shape.
With 7th chords and when using multiple alterations such as, b5, #5, b9, #9 the
shape might remind you of a completely different chord. It is is readily recognizable you can reuse your know chords. I don;t recommend trying to think of this ahead of time.
Today's chord, F7b9b5 is one of, or based on one of, the Big Six Core
for creating your 4-part, contemporary chord foundation and
Life Beyond the Third Fret.
Learn a New Chord Each Day!!!
This Learn a New Chord Each Day!!! series of lessons was created and published in 2013 (10yrs ago) and has been added to an expanded ever since. 2020 brought videos to the show. 2023 is bringing more Harmonic information.
For a further exploration of this chord and its movable forms visit the Movable Ukulele Chords Lesson Series page.
To find out even more than you would ever need to know about a F7b9b5 chord — continue reading .
F7b9b5 is a Core Chord
A core chord is a basic chord that other chords can be derived from - creating new chords from your known chords. Your ever expanding set of core chords creates a solid foundation for playing music on ukulele or any instrument capable of playing chords. There are just far too many chord shapes to memorize all the possibilities. Some chords you can simply create on the fly as needed based on known information and how chords work.
Chord Type(s): Major Altered 5-part
Chord Categories: Movable Form
Related Lesson: Understanding a Chord Diagram
Open Position chords typically do not show the location of the root or letter name of the chord as these chords are the first chords a ukulele player learns and are almost entirely learned by shape and sound – hopefully, the chords' name. Later on, one develops the ability to determine the location of the chord root(s) or letter name within the chord.
Standard Music Notation and TAB
The same numbering notation of TAB can be used to describe the open strings and frets to be played when using text only notation or verbal communications. Using an open position C as an example, we can describe it as 0003 indicating open strings four, three, and two with fret (3) being fingered on string one. An open position D7 indicated as 2020.
As you can see that are numerous ways to describe a chord, either verbally, Standard Music Notation , TAB , in text, graphically using a Chord Grid , etc.
Today's chord, F7b9b5 is a derived chord from F9 . Take any chord progression with F9 in it and explore substituting F7b9b5 for F9.
Chord Spelling is simply knowing what the notes, the chord tones of a chord are.
The notes of all chords can be determined from its corresponding major scale based on the root of the chord and numeric formula.
The notes for F7b9b5 are:
F A Cb Eb Gb
The chord tones are the 1 3 b5 b7 b9 scale degrees of the parent F Major Scale .
The implied root is on string two.
Although additional fingerings are possible for many chords. Fingering for any given chord depends the science of how our fingers work and on the harmonic context the chord is being used in, what was the previous chord and what's the next chord. The goal is to play all the notes right behind the frets when possible. Remember longer fingers can reach the lower strings better and finger two and stack on finger three and finger three can stack on finger four.
Although you can play any chord with any finger — as long as it's yours, the recommended fingering for F7b9b5 is:
Here are a few alternate fingerings for today’s F7b9b5 chord depending on the context the chord is being used.
Alternate fingering(s) for F7b9b5:
Fingering notation for a chord using text only, without using a chord grid, is typically done using the finger numbers from left to right, string four to string one (nose to toes). Here is the text notation for January 1st C chord.
A Typical text representation of a chord fingering without using a chord grid.
Additional alternate fingerings might be possible for selected chords. If there isn't an overwhelming musical reason for one fingering over another, let efficiency be the determining factor. Something as simple as longer fingers can reach the lower string four and three goes a long way to being efficient when switching chords.
Factors such as playing notes right behind the fret takes less effort than in the middle of the fret. Less effort leads to overall efficiency in play, lower maintenance for maintaining your technique and efficiency leads to speed. This can help in determining what finger to use. Finger three can overlap finger four and finger two can overlap finger three a little allowing them to get closer to the fret.
Remember – the thumb's primary role is to support the fingers – not play notes. Think of the thumb as a Stagehand. He is unseen, doesn't get any lines BUT is a critical member of the team.
Chord Construction, Notes and Intervals
ALL chords can be be constructed based on the their intervals relative to the major scale of the root or letter name of the chord. The individual names of the notes of the chord can also be determined from the same scale.
The chord tones for F7b9b5 are: F A Cb Eb Gb
F7b9b5 is the 1 3 b5 b7 b9 of the F Major Scale based on the root (F) of the chord.
7th (pronounced Seventh)
A partial seventh chord can be created by lowering the Root of a major triad two frets.
A seventh chord as a 4-part chord ( 1 3 5 b7 ) and one of the Big Six core chords used to derive other contemporary and jazz chords.
A Seventh chord along with your basic major and minor chords are the msot common chord you will encounter.
NOTE: A Seventh chord is very often referred to as a Dominant Seventh . This is not always accurate as Dominant — is a chord function and not actually part of a chord name, which is a capital letter and chord type information – not it's harmonic function. We don't call a seventh functioning as a I (one) chord in a Blues a Tonic Seventh or the IV (four) chord a Sub-Dominant Seventh chord, etc...
Alterations are applied to the 9th, 5th, 11th and thirteenth of a chord. The common alterations are the b5, #5, b9, #9, #11, b13.
Alternate notation for a sharp (♯) is a plus sign + and for a flat (♭) is a minus sign -
Altered ninths typically only apply to seventh chords.
An altered nine chord is created by raising the root of a seventh chord one fret for a 7b9 or three frets for a 7#9. Alternate notations include 7-9 and 7+9
After memorizing todays F7b9b5 chord and able to switch in time with other chords. The next step is adding various Strums , Fingerpicking patterns, and exploring the Movable Chord versions of today's chord, to your ukulele skills.
End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!
Related Lessons, Videos, Lesson Series, Songs, Books & Reference Charts, Resources & Assets, Workshops are below.
Related Lessons for
Chord a Day, March 28th - F7b9b5.
Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords
Pick up any chord dictionary, and one thought that should go through your mind is - TOO MANY CHORDS There is now way to memorize all those shapes. It would be better off learning how they came up with all those shapes. Most chord dictionaries are also just like pages transposed to all possible keys.
Learning the `Ukulele Fingerboard (Finally!!!)
Most players struggle with learning the names of the notes of the ukulele fingerboard. There doesn't seem to a pattern and notes repeat. There is an easy way and "it's easier that you think." Most players know the names of the open strings for their favorite tuning.
Movable `Ukulele Chords
A series of weekly ukulele lessons originally presented throughout 2007 on movable ukulele chords as the "Ukulele Chord of The Week Series". Based on the Ukulele Chords book by Curt Sheller (me). It takes the open position chords and shows the movable form and the variations.
Reading Ukulele TAB - Alternate Notation
"TAB" or "Tablature", is an alternate form of musical notation, which tells players where to place their fingers on a particular instrument rather than which pitches to play. TAB is sort of a secret language between guitar players and ukulele players. Although a shortcut to getting started it actually serves to alienate one from the rest of the music world.
The Learning Process - The Mind, Hands and Ears
For music and learning an instrument like the ukulele or guitar, it's all about the making the connection between the Mind, the Hands and the Ear. When listening to music, we enjoy it at the tempo the composer or artist intended, in real time. Only the ear is involved in listening. This is passive listening and you're simply enjoying the music. This is what we do everyday and it's what draws us to want to learn a musical instrument.
The Harmonized Major and Minor Scale Charts
The "Major Scale" or Ionian scale is a diatonic scale, made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first one octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, (Do), the Do in the parenthesis at the end being the octave of the root.
Transposing Individual `Ukulele Chords
"Transposition" is the process of moving a note, chord, scale or any musical passage from one key to another key. All music can be transposed, from a single note to a complex musical score. This lesson deals with transposing chords on ukulele and transposing chords.
Altered Seventh Chords on `Ukulele
Beyond basic open position chords, basic movable form chords, and a core set of 4-part chords. There are just too many chords shapes too memorize. Learning the principles of how chords are constructed and the ukulele fingerboard are the way to go. You can then create more advanced chords like 9#11, 7#5-9, 13b5, 7+9 on the fly as needed from your core set of chords.
Related Books & Charts
Related Books for
Chord a Day, March 28th - F7b9b5.
A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I
Updated: 13 Feb 2020
Beyond learning basic Ukulele chords, most players struggle with advanced chords. Commonly called "jazz" chords, these more sophisticated voicings find a wide use in all forms of music. A Guide to Advanced Chords for Ukulele - presents a highly organized and efficient approach to the mysterious subject of advanced chords. Chord dictionaries are not the answer.